No Time Like the Present to Visit these Epic Bond Locations
A visit to Matera is like stepping back in time, making it the perfect host to James Bond's style. | Photo by Claudio Pavione on Unsplash
With a new 007 adventure hitting the big screens and travel restrictions around the world slowly easing, film fans desperate to recreate their favourite movie moments can finally get their tuxedos out of storage and start planning their next trip. We’ve taken a look back at the long-running James Bond series and picked out some of our favourite locations to explore, including a few from ‘No Time To Die’ (2021).
Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond has been a long time coming. No Time To Die was supposed to be released early in 2020 but the global pandemic made it impossible to release such a high-profile film in cinemas. Other films were also delayed due Coronavirus, but it was Bond that became something of a punchline due to multiple failed attempts to release the 25th instalment in the long-running franchise. Craig even joined in on the act with a cheeky advert recently implying that the film was “worth the wait”.
With travel also being on hold for most of the last 18 months, fans keen on seeing the film and visiting the locations from their favourite series have been frustrated. The good news is that the imminent release of the movie will add a whole host of new destinations to an already impressive list of Bond locations to visit, and we’ve picked out the best right here including some you can visit with our immersive group adventures.
Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa | Courtesy of Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa / Expedia
The trailer for No Time To Die has been viewed millions of times and only serves to get us more excited for the new movie. The standout location from the first batch of footage we saw was Matera – close to Puglia – and the ancient stone city has become popular with travellers and filmmakers alike in recent years. The city is in the quiet region of Basilicata, Southern Italy, but is like nowhere else in Italy. People still live in houses carved into the rocks here and, due to it feeling largely untouched by modern trappings, it has emerged from a serious financial slump last century to become one of the hottest travel destinations in the world. Filmmakers love it here because they can recreate ancient locations such as Jerusalem and Persia. We’re not sure what 007 has in mind for his Italian trip, but we doubt he will be taking things as slowly as most locals do.
Masseria Torre Maizza, a Rocco Forte Hotel
Masseria Torre Maizza | Courtesy of Masseria Torre Maizza / Expedia
Blending local heritage with contemporary luxury, this authentic Puglian hideaway oozes Bond cool. You get the best of both worlds here, with the Adriatic Sea on one side and dense countryside on the other. You’ll feel like you’re in a movie and that’s probably why this area drew in producers of No Time To Die. Matera also has its own selection of boutique hotels to stay in, but there’s more to do on the coast. Take a day trip to see the ancient city and stay in some luxury instead.
Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa
Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa | Courtesy of Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa / Expedia
This spectacular property isn’t hiding its 007 credentials this season. Visitors can book themselves on a two-day James Bond experience that sees them travelling by vintage car and boat to some of the locations seen in No Time To Die. As well as a trip to Matera, Bond fans will also get to see some of the other locations in Puglia itself that were used for the movie. The elegant 18th-century palace steeped in history is the ideal backdrop for a Bond-inspired adventure this autumn, and even if you don’t take the trip option you can enjoy a Martini in the hotel whilst admiring 007-inspired art by Amalia Knoll.
No matter where his latest adventure takes him, Bond will always find himself in London. His office is based here and most of the films feature at least one scene shot in town. If you want to look the part, then make sure you head to the fancy shops in Mayfair before booking a stay at one of the high-end hotels close to MI6 headquarters in Vauxhall.
Dukes Hotel and Bar | Courtesy of Dukes Hotel and Bar / Expedia
The martinis served at Duke’s Bar are often cited as the inspiration for Bond’s favourite tipple. Served shaken not stirred, the best examples of the drink are prepared at your table and at Duke’s you’ll get this service on a rosewood table-side trolley. Aside from the famous bar, the hotel itself is a throwback to classic luxury and in the perfect location for all Bond aficionados to go exploring.
Turnbull & Asser
ED3FMN Exterior of Turnbull & Asser shop Royal Warrant shirt maker, Bury St, London SW1. Image shot 2014. Exact date unknown. | © Geoff Wilkinson / Alamy
is full of modern little homages to Bond, but nothing beats an original stop like this shirtmaker in the city. Sean Connery used to get his outfits for the series made here and even invented a special shirt used in Dr. No
(1962). A whole host of A-list clientele continue to buy their clothes here today, and you’ll feel part of an elite group as soon as you walk into the shop close to Mayfair
Here’s an interesting Bond location that is often overlooked purely because of its unassuming nature. Sölden (sometimes written in English as Soelden) is in the Tyrol region of Austria and featured heavily in Spectre (2015) with the iconic mountaintop restaurant Ice Q converted into a medical facility in the movie. There was a memorable chase sequence shot here too and you can even see some vehicles used in this scene on the mountain today. 007 Elements is the main reason to visit if you’re a fan of the franchise as the exhibition space has been carved into the Gaislachkogl Mountain and houses some incredible Bond memorabilia.
Das Central | Courtesy of Das Central / Expedia
If you’re visiting either Ice Q or 007 Elements then your best bet for a place to stay is Das Central. You can arrange a special package that includes a gondola ride to the top of the Gaislachkogl as well as a stay at the luxury resort. Many of the stars of Spectre stayed at the hotel and the subsequent construction of 007 Elements was overseen by the owners of the property. You’ll get all the alpine cosiness you would expect from such a place, with the top-notch spa and sauna facilities treating any minor ailments you might pick up from a day on the slopes during the popular ski season.
Bond has always had a strong connection with Jamaica. The Caribbean island is the birthplace of 007, with author Ian Fleming writing the novels the series is based on here. We saw scenes shot here in Live and Let Die (1973) as well as in the first film adaptation, Dr. No, so it’s fitting that the new film also heads back home.
GoldenEye | Courtesy of GoldenEye / Expedia
The fascinating link between Ian Fleming and his Caribbean retreat is worthy of a novel itself, but it’s safe to say that this is the spot where James Bond was born. The luxury resort isn’t really a hotel, but a collection of private villas, cottages and beach huts. In No Time To Die, Bond is seen residing in a beachside home and you’ll get to fully recreate the stay at Goldeneye too.
One of the other great locations associated with Craig’s tenure as James Bond is Mexico City. In Spectre, 007 is seen on an unofficial mission during the Day of the Dead celebrations in the city. It’s an exhilarating chase sequence that will get you in the mood for adventure, and the vibrant location is just as much fun if you’re a casual visitor.
Courtesy of Nima Local Hotel / Expedia
You’ll feel like you’re staying in a stylish friend’s home at this four-room turn-of-the-century mansion in hip Roma. Enter the bright courtyard filled with climbing plants and foliage, pause to sip artisanal mezcal from the honesty bar, then skip up the small staircase to your room. Each light and bright suite is named in honour of past residents, including a Mexican historian, an urban planner, and a besotted Frenchman who fell for the lady of the house.
All the trappings of a luxury hotel are evident at this Polanco pensión: from fine linens to a finger-on-the-pulse concierge and two top-flight restaurants. But Las Alcobas takes it to the next level. Ring your personal bath butler to arrange a spa-like treatment in your suite, upon which steam jets will be set, bath oils presented and mood lighting dimmed for ultimate relaxation. Afterwards, head down for dinner at Dulce Patria, one of the top restaurants in Latin America.
A favourite of many Bond’s through the ages, Istanbul‘s glamourous mix of Asian, European and African cultures make it a perfect spot for globetrotters and super spies alike. Sean Connery first took the character to Turkey in From Russia with Love (1963) and subsequent actors have spent many hours running through the bazaars and enjoying spectacular views of the Bosphorus.
Want to experience your own adventure in Turkey? Our exhilarating TRIP from Istanbul to Antalya will see you hot-air ballooning over Cappadocia and climbing the wild Taurus Mountains.
Pera Palace Hotel | Courtesy of Pera Palace Hotel / Expedia
Built in 1892 to house Orient Express passengers about to embark on their long journey to Paris, the Pera Palace is an Istanbul institution. Other than the Ottoman palaces of the time, this was the first building in the country to offer electricity, hot running water and an elevator, which still works today. This opulent 19th-century vibe remains throughout each of its 115 rooms and suites. The hotel is located one block from the boutiques of İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu, and foodies will also love their stay here: enjoy afternoon tea in the Kubbeli Lounge, take dinner at the glitzy Agatha Restaurant and have drinks at the dimly lit Orient Bar.
Everything about Raffles Istanbul is contemporary | Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul / Hotels.com
Istanbul isn’t known for its skyscrapers, which only makes this glistening five-star property stand out even more. Everything about Raffles Istanbul is contemporary, from its business district location in the Beşiktaş area of the European side to the hotel’s 185 crisp, minimalist rooms. This 134m (440ft) tower is Raffles’s only foray into mainland Europe. The ultra-modern rooms and six innovative dining options make this one of Istanbul’s most exclusive hotels, and perfect for every wannabe James Bond.